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How Contraceptive Injections Work, Side Effects and Advantages

Birth control injections are a very popular short-term contraceptive method, and the main reason is that they are convenient and do not require daily reminders like birth control pills. Usually, birth control injections are given by an obstetrician or midwife in certain areas of the body, such as the upper arms, thighs, lower abdomen, or buttocks. The effectiveness of birth control injections reaches more than 99 percent if used correctly. For more information, please read more here.

How Contraceptive Injections

The injectable contraceptive method is a form of self-protection that contains the hormone progesterone. This hormone is similar to progesterone which is produced by the ovaries. The use of injectable contraception is usually carried out by medical personnel such as doctors or nurses on a regular basis.

Injectable contraception operates by stopping the release of eggs from the ovaries every month and also thickens the mucus around the cervix to prevent sperm from entering. The injection can be done in the buttocks, upper arm, stomach or thigh.

If the injection is given during the first five days of the menstrual cycle, the injectable contraceptive will be effective immediately. However, if done outside this period, it will take 7 days for this method to function optimally to prevent pregnancy.

For women who have just given birth, contraceptive injections can be given as long as they are not breastfeeding. However, if you are breastfeeding, you will need to wait six weeks after giving birth before you can do so.

Side Effects of Birth Control Injections

All types of contraception have side effects, especially hormonal contraception such as birth control injections. Common side effects of birth control injections include:

1. Menstrual Cycle Changes

Birth control injections can change the menstrual cycle, either making it longer or shorter. At first, menstruation can be prolonged, experience spotting, and eventually become rare or stop. About 40% of women stop menstruating after a year of use, which is actually a harmless side effect.

2. Weight Gain

Birth control injection users may experience weight gain of around 1-2 kilograms per year. This is caused by the hormone progesterone which affects appetite.

3. Cannot Get Pregnant Immediately After Stopping

After stopping using birth control injections, fertility does not return immediately. Typically, fertility will be restored in around 10 months, but this can vary between individuals. In this regard, IUDs, implants, and birth control pills are more flexible.

4. Decreased Sexual Desire

The progesterone hormone in birth control injections can change the condition of the vagina, cause discomfort during sexual intercourse, and ultimately reduce sexual desire if left untreated.

5. Other Side Effects

Birth control injections can also cause headaches, breast pain, mood changes and acne. Long-term use can pose a risk to bone density, but with adequate Vitamin D and calcium intake, this risk can be minimized.

Advantages of injectable birth control

One contraceptive option that is often chosen by women is injectable birth control, and there are several advantages that make it a practical and efficient choice:

  • Long Duration: Injectable birth control can provide protection for between 8-13 weeks, depending on the type, so users do not need to often remember the contraceptive schedule.
  • No complicated calculations: No need to calculate the fertile period or install contraception before having sex, providing freedom and comfort.
  • Solution for Allergies: For women who are allergic to the estrogen ingredients in other contraceptives, injectable birth control can be a safe and effective choice.
  • Does Not Require Daily Consumption: Unlike daily contraceptive pills, injectable birth control users do not need to remember to take the pill every day before sexual intercourse.
  • Safe for Breastfeeding Mothers: Women who are breastfeeding can also use injectable birth control without harming their babies.
  • Does not interact with other drugs: Injectable birth control does not interact with other medicines, providing certainty in its use.
  • Reduces Pain during Menstruation: Using injectable birth control can help reduce the pain felt during menstruation.

Choosing a contraceptive is an important step that needs to be taken into careful consideration. To ensure the right decision, it is important to talk openly with your partner. Don't hesitate or be embarrassed to discuss together so you can find a solution that is satisfactory for both parties. In addition, consult a doctor to ensure the contraceptive method you choose suits your needs and lifestyle.


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